News   Dec 13, 2019
 1.1K     16 
News   Dec 13, 2019
 1.9K     5 
News   Dec 13, 2019
 845     1 

Ion Light Rail (Kitchener-Waterloo) & King/Victoria Transit Terminal

Leo_Chan

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Nov 13, 2016
Messages
3,154
Reaction score
1,866
Location
Richmond Hill
It also has way less ridership. Crush loads can cause a lot of problems, like door issues,
It is also important to mention that the ION LRT is basically a brand new route that no previous bus routes entirely ran on, so the ridership has to build up as people learn to change their commute to make use of it. On the other hand, the Confederation LRT is a direct replacement of an existing corridor of many bus routes, and those bus routes have been mostly disconnected, so everyone who were using those routes now have to use the LRT. These two are completely different situations with significantly different expected and real results and usage.
 

Haljackey

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 12, 2010
Messages
438
Reaction score
126
Location
London, Ontario
From the 401 widening thread- found a PDF for phase 2 of ION:

-----

I was reviewing Phase 2 plans for Waterloo Region's ION LRT and I noticed it runs along King Street between Highway 8 and 401

I also see the proposed flyovers missing from the 8/401 interchange in the plans. Probably part of a separate project? That area of King is already a mess- would be even crazier with the LRT without these put in. Should be done first if possible

Link:
 

jordanmkasla2009

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
Messages
251
Reaction score
256
From the 401 widening thread- found a PDF for phase 2 of ION:

-----

I was reviewing Phase 2 plans for Waterloo Region's ION LRT and I noticed it runs along King Street between Highway 8 and 401

I also see the proposed flyovers missing from the 8/401 interchange in the plans. Probably part of a separate project? That area of King is already a mess- would be even crazier with the LRT without these put in. Should be done first if possible

Link:
plans for that interchange project aren't finalized and so they aren't included in the preliminary designs.
 

jordanmkasla2009

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
Messages
251
Reaction score
256
It is also important to mention that the ION LRT is basically a brand new route that no previous bus routes entirely ran on, so the ridership has to build up as people learn to change their commute to make use of it. On the other hand, the Confederation LRT is a direct replacement of an existing corridor of many bus routes, and those bus routes have been mostly disconnected, so everyone who were using those routes now have to use the LRT. These two are completely different situations with significantly different expected and real results and usage.
ION was a direct replacement of the leg of the 200 iXpress bus route between Fairview Park Mall and Conestoga Mall..
 

Streety McCarface

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Dec 6, 2017
Messages
1,674
Reaction score
1,394
This is a really important aspect and I hope operators of future systems take note. The ION launch and bus network reconfiguration took place in late June, when most students were gone, and the people using transit were from demographics like commuters, seniors, ODSP, etc. These people who are usually older and more likely to rely on memorized routes, paper maps, and help point information got the benefit of staff being able to help them efficiently, while students (who probably more or less universally use Google Maps to plan routes) were able to adapt without problems to the now-existing system. In contrast, the Ottawa system launched only a few weeks into the new school term, and seems to have been much more chaotic overall.
UW Has a mixed CO-OP System, meaning most students alternate between a co op term and a study term. Almost Half of the campus was probably still studying during the summer.
I can say from personal experience that around 2-3 PM ION vehicles get quite full. Perhaps not crush loaded but pretty darn close.
The line has many different sections, Central and University see the most crush loading, but only at very specific times (when workers are released from the google buildings, or when the GO train arrives on Friday at Central, and after certain classes all days at UW)
 

jordanmkasla2009

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
Messages
251
Reaction score
256
UW Has a mixed CO-OP System, meaning most students alternate between a co op term and a study term. Almost Half of the campus was probably still studying during the summer.

The line has many different sections, Central and University see the most crush loading, but only at very specific times (when workers are released from the google buildings, or when the GO train arrives on Friday at Central, and after certain classes all days at UW)
Cameron Heights and KCI let out at around that time and both school's students flood Kitchener Market and Grand River Hospital stations.
 

tmlittle

New Member
Member Bio
Joined
Oct 24, 2019
Messages
79
Reaction score
104
Co-op is a significant factor in load balancing, but not all students are at UW, and not all UW students are in co-op. Laurier and high schools are both significant factors (I don't think Laurier has co-op to such a significant extent -- I am a UW alumnus and am pretty aware of co-op dynamics, but I'm not very informed about what goes on at Laurier, especially nowadays). When I first rode the system Block Line station didn't make sense to me except as a transfer station/relief station for Fairway, until I spent some time around there when St. Mary's students were getting out of school and I saw the army of passengers in school uniforms marching across the bridge over the rail yard to get to the train station. One of the good aspects of GRT, in my opinion, is that it's not driven by student ridership to the same extent as (e.g.) Guelph Transit, so year-round ridership is a little bit more stable, and, I assume, easier to plan around.
 

Streety McCarface

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Dec 6, 2017
Messages
1,674
Reaction score
1,394
Co-op is a significant factor in load balancing, but not all students are at UW, and not all UW students are in co-op. Laurier and high schools are both significant factors (I don't think Laurier has co-op to such a significant extent -- I am a UW alumnus and am pretty aware of co-op dynamics, but I'm not very informed about what goes on at Laurier, especially nowadays). When I first rode the system Block Line station didn't make sense to me except as a transfer station/relief station for Fairway, until I spent some time around there when St. Mary's students were getting out of school and I saw the army of passengers in school uniforms marching across the bridge over the rail yard to get to the train station. One of the good aspects of GRT, in my opinion, is that it's not driven by student ridership to the same extent as (e.g.) Guelph Transit, so year-round ridership is a little bit more stable, and, I assume, easier to plan around.
Speaking of High School students, the fact that they're getting rid of the student discount is honestly the dumbest thing they can do. A huge portion of GRT's paying ridership outside of UPass users come from students (I know because I'd commute to and from WCI each day, and we packed up every bus for at least half an hour on 10 separate bus routes once school was out, and we were just one school).
 

tmlittle

New Member
Member Bio
Joined
Oct 24, 2019
Messages
79
Reaction score
104
I understand where they're coming from with the LIT (lol) scheme, but I'm extremely cynical about means testing, and eliminating all the various discounts in favour of a general low-income means-tested one annoys me. I'm friends with a few people in social services and their response is pretty universally negative, a lot of the people they deal with day-to-day aren't exactly on the CRA's radar, have little to no income, but have no proof of that either, and generally live "off the grid" (as most homeless people do). The current scheme was never sustainable with its extremely long waiting list, but if the Region had only committed the funds to a real low-income pass in addition to the current discounts, they'd have had easy guaranteed ridership. Now many of these people will probably just walk, ride (honestly possibly stolen) bikes, or simply not travel at all. This is also no way to induce ridership in Cambridge (which realistically is a place where many poor people live) in advance of Stage 2 LRT.
 

E•MO•TION

New Member
Member Bio
Joined
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
9
Reaction score
19
High school crush loads aren’t as bad as they used to be. High school students used to receive heavily subsidized passes by the school boards. The school boards opted to solely use yellow buses around 2014 or so as GRT (or more accurately, the Region) priced them out of it.
 

chinesehorse

New Member
Member Bio
Joined
Jun 7, 2017
Messages
40
Reaction score
41
I can say from personal experience that around 2-3 PM ION vehicles get quite full. Perhaps not crush loaded but pretty darn close.
212563


This is what it's like around 5 pm headed southbound just south of Laurier-Waterloo Park station. It's like this around 12-2 pm as well from what I've seen (maybe a little less people). Almost crush load?
 

tmlittle

New Member
Member Bio
Joined
Oct 24, 2019
Messages
79
Reaction score
104
With the Region estimating Stage 2 construction in 2028 and the ridership on the 302 ION bus not being especially overwhelming (maybe it is at rush hour?), it seems likely the original line will be getting greater frequencies and longer trains sooner -- at least I hope so.
 

MidtownKW

New Member
Member Bio
Joined
Aug 29, 2019
Messages
8
Reaction score
10
That picture isn't very close to crush load. Crush load is extremely uncomfortable, with practically no space between passengers. No seat would be left empty. Plenty of riders at each stop would be opting not to get on a crush-loaded car.

I haven't experienced crush loading on the Ion, but I hope I never do, and it does get busy at some periods. I take it from Conestoga to Grand River Hospital in the afternoon peaks, and it can be fairly busy. As mentioned, GRH is busy anywhere from 2:45 to 4:30 with high school students. The University segment can get busy at various times a day.

The system is supposed to have better frequency than this already, but that has been delayed by vehicle reliability issues. Hopefully soon. Often, it does seem called for.
 

Top